UPDATE: Amazon got rid of Createspace altogether, so KDP print is your only option now. Sometimes it will flag things for issues, several times, but if you keep uploading it, the document might get approved (still buggy, as of 2019). Also, the cover generator rounds to the nearest 10th page I think, so it’s not as accurate as other tools. Also, KDP print might not be that bad, it was the switch from one to the other that was problematic (after you republish, if you make changes to your book file the old files might not get approved the 2nd time).
Here’s the original article:
Recently I decided to change titles of my book; doing so with the Kindle version was easy, but you can’t change titles on Createspace (because it’s linked with an ISBN number) so I thought I’d try moving the print version to KDP instead.
I’ve tried KDP’s paperback option several times but have always given up in frustration… nevertheless I tried again and was disappointed (to say the least).
The main problem is that my PDFs are way too big – I’ve always had this issue saving from MS Word to PDF and getting large file sizes. But even when the files uploaded, and the mandatory previewer tool kicked in, it got everything wrong. (I usually skip Createspace’s previewer tool because it’s buggy and I know my files are right… but in KPD you can’t skip this stage or approve files until the previewer tool says you’re good).
My interior is 459 pages. I usually use Bookow.com to make exact templates – Createspace’s templates are averaged to the nearest closest page and will usually be off by a few pages.
For cream pages, my spine width should be 1.148″ … but when I uploaded my files, the previewer says spine should be .547″ – so of course nothing fits. It won’t let me approve the file with all the problems.
I thought maybe my files were just too large, so I go help from book formatter Hynek Palatin. I had to install PDFCreator, then I had to set up a special print setting for my book size (5×8.25).
Then click “Print server properties” at the top and define a new form.”
That worked, and now I have a PDF of 2mb instead of 50mb (every other time I tried to shrink the PDF size, I’d end up with crappy looking text or fonts). This file looks good, so I upload again – this time it says my spine should be 1.034″… so that’s close, but still doesn’t fit the cover I made.
I can’t approve the file until the previewer says it’s OK, but I’m also not going to waste any more time trying to make the previewer happy. I understand the reason for being picky, but this also means most non-designers won’t survive this process – even if they have more patience that I have.
And besides, now that I’ve started a paperback file on KDP, it’s linked to the original title and won’t let me change it; I also can’t delete the project I’ve started so it will be frozen, half-finished, forever on my account, while I go back to Createspace because it actually works.
Createspace: Started a new project with new title. Uploaded the original cover I made and chose cream pages so it fits. Chose “bleed ends after the page” because I have illustrative graphics on chapter pages. Skipped previewer. 2 minutes later, files are uploaded and waiting for approval.
I’m a philosophy dropout with a PhD in Literature. I covet a cabin full of cats, where I can write fantasy novels to pay for my cake addiction. Sometimes I live in castles.